Morning business round-up: Extra damage at Tepco


What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) confirmed there were extra partial meltdowns in fuel rods at its damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

But the power company said that it planned to stick to its timetable of getting the radiation under control by January.

South Korea's top carmaker, Hyundai, warned of serious disruption to production because of a strike at a key supplier of engine parts.

Foxconn, which manufactures Apple's iPhone and iPad, suspended production at some of its Chinese workshops after an explosion at a factory killed three people and injured 15 at the weekend.

US retail giant Wal-Mart said that two of its top executives in China had resigned "to explore other opportunities". The news comes at a time when the company is seeking to expand its presence in the Chinese market.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Credit ratings agency Moody's warned that a Greek default would adversely affect other peripheral eurozone countries, as well as hitting Greece's own credit rating and the rating of Greek banks.

Also on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met opposition leaders to try to seek consensus over the latest austerity programme for the country.

Meanwhile, Moody's also told 14 banks and building societies in the UK that their credit ratings may be cut because of the withdrawal of government support.

Banks under review include Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, and both firms saw their share prices fall in morning trading.

The UK saw its worst April public sector net borrowing on record last month as tax receipts fell, the Office for National Statistics said.

Public borrowing, excluding financial interventions such as bank bail-outs, hit £10bn, far higher than analysts' expectations of about £6.5bn.

And Marks and Spencer boss Marc Bolland said the firm had a "good year" as he delivered his first annual figures since taking over as chief executive.

The UK retailer posted a 12.9% jump in annual profits to £714.3m, defying the retail gloom.

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